Drinking Water: Extreme Weather Events Threaten Quality, Says Report

The greatest risks to water quality come from cumulative impacts of extreme weather events that happen sequentially, like a drought followed by a wildfire followed by a flood, says joint Australian-US study. As climate change likely increases the frequency of extreme weather events, resilience must be built into the management of watersheds and water treatment systems for recovery to happen. [Sunday Morning Herald]

Report: Society's Water Safety Net Is Fraying

A new National Research Council report examines possible "tipping points" that might occur if the rate of groundwater pumping rapidly increases. As surface water-scarce regions get drier amidst climate change, early warning water and drought monitoring systems could be necessary to protect precious resources. [Circle of Blue]

Insect Feedstock for Pigs, Chicken and Fish Production

That's right, insects might become an alternative to plant-based protein in feed for fish, pigs and chickens if approval moves forward in the EU. An entomologist speaking at a Food Vision conference said that emerging automated production techniques could lower costs enough to make insects a viable feed, with potential to compose perhaps 50 percent of fish farm feed. [Food Manufacture]

NFL Player Tackles Sustainable Beef Off the Field

Will Witherspoon is the linebacker for the St. Louis Rams, which is part of the reason he's so interested in raising his own antibiotic-free, organically raised beef. Spending time on his grandmother's farm and paying attention to what he eats as professional football player inspired Witherspoon's passion for sustainable farming. He says sustainable food is gaining popularity amongst many athletes. [Grist]

Mississippi Basin Water Quality Declining Despite Conservation

Regardless of water conservation efforts practiced up and down the Mississippi, nitrate pollution in the River has risen due mainly to runoff from field crop fertilizers, animal manure, urban areas and discharges from wastewater treatment plants, USGS tests show. To curb pollution and the resultant dead zones, requirements for more monitoring and nitrogen reduction targets with teeth. [National Geographic]

Food Safety Rule Threatens Cows'

The FDA has proposed a rule that would hinder breweries from selling or donating wet grain as feed for livestock. By requiring further processing of spent grain prior to animal consumption, the rule would attach an additional, prohibitive cost to the grain, essentially condemning the waste to landfills. Wet grain feed, which has no associated health concerns, reduces food waste. [Politico]

NRDC Questions FDA Oversight, Safety of New Food Ingredients

In a new report, the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) called attention to food additive oversight failures, pointing out that food companies are allowed to deem additives as "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) without notifying the FDA. GRAS designations, some of which are made internally, require no premarket approval by the FDA, putting consumers at the mercy of manufacturers. [Food Product Design]

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